Tennessee recently joined dozens of other states in requiring lawmakers to consider the economic impact of proposed regulations on small businesses.
The state's Regulatory Flexibility Act of 2007, signed into law by Gov. Phil Bredesen late last month, also requires state agencies to consider alternative measures that achieve the same regulatory goals where the burden of compliance for small businesses is found to be excessive.
There are some 513,000 small businesses in Tennessee, according to the Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy.
So far this year, 11 states have introduced similar regulatory flexibility legislation for small businesses, while 13 already have active statutes.